Front Row Filmed Entertainment, one of the Middle East's main indie distributors, has struck a deal with emerging markets SVOD service iflix for its upcoming TV series Tough Luck.
iflix will come aboard the Egyptian comedy series - which began shooting last month - as co-producer alongside Front Row, the Kuwait National Cinema Company and Shadows Communications, the Cairo-based banner of Ehab Sergany and Ahmed Helmy.
Earlier in the day, it emerged that the company, which has positioned itself as an alternative to Netflix in countries where the streaming giant has less market share, has entered the Middle East and North Africa via launches in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Egypt and Sudan. The moves mean that iflix is available in 18 countries.
The streamer has also acquired exclusive near-global SVOD rights for Tough Luck, picking it up for its current and possible future services in the Middle East, Africa, Central America, Asia Pacific and the Commonwealth of Independent States. It will show the sitcom as an iflix original, launching in the Middle East and North Africa at the end of April, with the first 30 episodes introduced during the month of Ramadan when family TV viewing reaches its peak across the region.
The deal marks a change in direction in the Middle East, where free and pay TV have generally monopolized Arab content.
The deal was negotiated by Front Row managing director Gianluca Chakra and iflix's MENA head Nader Sobhan.